These paintings are originally from a set of 120, and were commissioned by the Director of the Swedish East India Company in circa 1783. In 1784, the set was brought to Stockholm by the Swedish ship The Gustavus III and each painting is accompanied by a description in Swedish, with a later translation in English. They are described as follows:
No.54 - Lock Chöang Shynn: boats which carry goods to Canton from Lock Chöang, which is 4 or 5 days' journey thence.
No.69 - Tao Tam Tsö: passage-boats to Canton from Wou Kan, near Nanquin
No.88 - Kao Kong uy Shynn: a kind of fish-boat from Kao Kong, 36 hours journey from Canton. They are laden with all kinds of fish and a continual stream of fresh water is kept up in them.
No.100 - Cheu chao pack tso: salt-junks from Yuchao, 16 days' journey from Canton.
No.101 - Pann long Shynn: dealers' boats with betelnuts from Abam, 10 days' journey from Canton.
No.113 - Long mon shynn: boats from Long mon, a week's journey from Canton.
Twelve of the original collection of 120 paintings were displayed at an Ethnographical Exhibition in the Hereditary Princes Palace in circa 1878, during which time four are believed to have been lost. Eighty of the remaining 110 are together in a private collection.